Indiana Daily Student

What you need to know about Bloomington’s noise ordinance

A student shouts in an off-campus house in Blooomington.
A student shouts in an off-campus house in Blooomington.

The Bloomington Municipal Code has specific rules regarding noise which apply to anyone within city limits. According to the municipal code, unreasonable noise consists of many things, but more frequently consists of high volumes which disrupt the comfort of your neighbors. 

Violations occur when devices or instruments produce loud sounds continuously or intermittently for a period of at least 15 minutes, according to the Bloomington Municipal Code. 

Many rules apply to vehicles, construction sites, loud speakers and radios, but Bloomington Police Department Capt. Ryan Pedigo said he wants students to be safe when a complaint is responded to.

BPD prioritizes more serious emergency calls over noise complaints, Pedigo said. Officers are sent to noise complaints as they become available.

“We try to make contact with the person responsible for the property and let them know we have received a complaint,” Pedigo said. 

From here, officers will decide if there is a violation of the Municipal Code when responding to a noise complaint.

Pedigo also emphasized the importance of safety during noise complaint responses. 

“Don’t have people jumping out windows and taking off running,” he said.

Officers want to have someone responsible for the property come to the door and talk to get the situation handled, Pedigo said.

“We’re there for a noise violation, and we certainly don’t want to see people getting hurt,” he said. 

If you suspect someone to be in violation of the noise ordinance, you can call the Bloomington Police Department non-emergency number at (812) 339-4477 to voice your complaint. People calling should be ready to provide information such as the address of the violator in question or a description of the property, Pedigo said.

Although you can anonymously call in a noise complaint, Pedigo prefers citizens leave their name and telephone number in case an officer needs to call back for more information.

“We don’t go up to a house and say your neighbor up the street is the one who called us,” Pedigo said.

While an individual’s first violation results in an official warning, failure to comply results in financial penalties and citations, according to city code.

A second offense will result in a $50 penalty, and a third offense will be an additional $100 fine. Any offense after this during a 12-month period will result in an additional $500 penalty, according to the ordinance.

If the noise fails to cease, occupants of the property may be subject to arrest, according to the City of Bloomington website.

Noise violation citations do not go on your criminal record, Pedigo said. If you get a fine, the City of Bloomington website recommends that you pay it or apply for an appeal within seven days to avoid further legal action.

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